MasterChef judge John Torode ‘humbled and grateful’ to be made MBE

·3-min read

TV chef and broadcaster John Torode has said he is “humbled and very grateful” to have been made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

The 56-year-old, best known for being a judge on hit cooking competition MasterChef and its spin-off shows, has been recognised for his services to food and charity.

Australian-born Torode, who has put contestants through their paces for almost two decades on the BBC show, is becoming a member of the Order alongside his MasterChef co-star Gregg Wallace.

John Torode
The Australian-born TV star has been recognised for his services to food and charity (Ian West/PA)

Torode said: “I am truly thrilled, humbled and very grateful and I’d like to thank those who nominated me for this great honour of an MBE.

“To be put forward and recognised for services to the food industry and broadcasting which I have worked in for over 40 years is a very proud moment for me and my family.

“I have been fortunate enough to run and set up restaurants, been at the forefront of introducing Australasian cuisine to the UK and worked hard to make the industry the very best it can be.

“I have always wanted everyone and anyone to know a little bit more about food and why I love it and hold it so dear.

“I so enjoy my work with MasterChef, John & Lisa’s Weekend Kitchen and the many TV shows I am so lucky to be involved with, where we hope to entertain and educate a little on the beauty and creativity of food, raise awareness and sometimes some much-needed charitable funds.

“The British public has always been amazing, what a wonderful supportive country this is, thank you, I feel like I have the best job in the world.”

MasterChef record
Torode and Gregg Wallace have been hosting the hit BBC cookery competition since 2005 (BBC/PA)

Born in Melbourne, Torode is credited as one of the main figures who introduced Australasian food to the UK in the 1990s.

He began his cooking career in Australia, later joining the D&D London restaurant group, formerly known as the Conran group, in 1992.

The chef started out at Le Pont de la Tour in London before becoming sous chef at Quaglino’s, and was head chef for the 1995 launch of Mezzo in Soho.

He later opened his own establishment, Smiths of Smithfield, in Smithfield Market in 2000, with his second restaurant venture, The Luxe, launching in Spitalfields Market in London in 2009.

Torode became a familiar face to TV audiences in 1996 as the resident chef on ITV’s This Morning, continuing this role until 2000.

Torode and Lisa Faulkner
The TV chef and his wife Lisa Faulkner present their own weekend cookery show (Ian West/PA)

In 2005 Masterchef was relaunched with Torode and Wallace as hosts and it went on to become a worldwide success, spawning popular spin-offs across the globe as well as Celebrity MasterChef and Junior MasterChef.

He has also presented an array of TV shows, including his series which have explored the cuisines of the Middle East, Asia, Korea and Malaysia.

He also went back to his roots with a culinary road trip TV series across Australia, and has written a number of cookbooks.

Torode and his wife, actress Lisa Faulkner, have also presented six series of John and Lisa’s Weekend Kitchen together on ITV.

The TV chef has four children from previous relationships.

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